Laguna Beach, California Travel Guide Spring 2022 – Styled by McKenz

I’m back from my two-week spring break travel extravaganza and boy do I have a lot of content coming your way! I began my journey exploring sunny Laguna Beach, California, and my gosh, did I just love it. While I do love LA, there’s something about the beach town aspect of California that speaks to me far more. I’ve seen Venice, Malibu, and Manhattan Beach but Laguna holds a special place in my heart.

From where to stay, what to pack, where to eat, and what to do I’ve got you covered. I was only in town for three days so this isn’t as long of a guide as normal but I still wanted to give you a one-stop-shop full of all the details. For reference, I visited in March of 2022.

Stay tuned for my outfit guide coming to the blog later this week!

Where To Stay 

While some beach towns are Airbnb heavy, Laguna is one that has several hotel options as well. I traveled with my sweet friend Jules who was very familiar with the area and she insisted we stay at the Laguna Beach Lodge. She had stayed here twice before and loved how private it felt and I have to say, she’s not wrong!

Laguna Beach Lodge (book here)

This adorable hotel is just one block back from the beach. Our room was still “oceanfront” however you did have one row of buildings in between us and the ocean. Regardless, I was just grateful to be by the water. Similar to other hotels I’ve stayed at, this one has contactless check-in/out and digital room keys.

There is no main entrance or lobby, just individual rooms where you can walk right up to the door. This also means that once you walk out of the door, you’re greeted with lots of greenery and gorgeous landscaping. I really love hotels like this as they feel very intimate and are very quiet.

As for rooms at the Laguna Beach Lodge, each one is a little different with a unique color palette and one-of-a-kind art. I was thrilled to see that our king room had pops of mustard yellow throughout. Not only is this my favorite color but it really gave this space a warm and fuzzy feeling. The bed here was super comfortable and our room was so clean, you could have fooled me if you said it was brand new.

It was rather spacious throughout and even had a small cooking area with dishes, a microwave, and a mini-fridge. It was also fully equipped with two dining chairs and a mini table to eat at which is perfect if you’re thinking about booking an extended stay.

The bathroom was one of the bigger hotel bathrooms I’ve seen lately. With beautiful white tiling, black fixtures, and gold accents it was quite aesthetic as well. Truly my only complaint from this space was there not being a full-length mirror to get ready with.

Oh, and how could I forget?! Our room also had a balcony with two chairs, a table, an umbrella, and a small couch for lounging. I don’t believe that all rooms have this, just the ones looking out over the water. This was the perfect photo spot and really drew in all of the natural light throughout the day.

Transportation To/Within Laguna Beach 

Laguna Beach, part of Orange County, is just an hour and a half drive from our “home base” in Beverly Hills. It is a very reasonable weekend trip, especially if you’re within the area.

Laguna itself is a smaller beach town, however, it’s still several miles long. You’re within walking distance from the beach–in fact, you’re just a block away which is ideal if you want to run to and from the room to the water. However, it was a bit further from the restaurants and shops we visited. For that reason, it was really nice having a rental car for a few days. Typically we would just Uber, but for several 1.5-mile trips, it was easier to just have a vehicle of our own.

Where To Eat 

El Comedor

El Comedor was the first spot we ate at and it was by far my favorite. They had the prettiest drinks, offering tons of daiquiris served with fresh flowers and sparkly sheens. We got several appetizers here to share: charcuterie board, prawns, brussel sprouts, crab cakes (my fav!), and calamari. All of them were amazing, and that’s coming from someone who typically isn’t an appetizer person.

For my main course, I got the steak which had an amazing pesto aioli on top, and the creamiest mashed potatoes. I asked for it medium and it was cooked perfectly. I finished everything off with the blueberry crumble cheesecake which was divine.

While the food was amazing, what really brings me to a 9.5/10 rating was the atmosphere. This restaurant had an intimate vibe with an amazing live singer who played several of my favorites throughout the night. I highly recommend for a chic experience while in Laguna.

Menu // Directions

The Rooftop Lounge 

For more of your typical, American dining experience you must stop by The Rooftop Lounge. This restaurant serves brunch well into the afternoon so if you’re craving eggs and bacon you’re in luck. I got their Smashburger and my gosh was it good. Sharp cheddar cheese, their special crack sauce, and bacon. It was one of the best burgers I’ve had out in a long time.

The view here is one of the best in Laguna. Overlooking the water one way and the hills the other, it’s hard to believe you can get an atmosphere this good. Even if you just come for rooftop drinks, you must stop by here!

Menu // Directions

Laguna Coffee Co

This cutie cafe was a local’s recommendation. The girls stopped here for coffee each morning and while I’m not a coffee drinker, I did enjoy a blueberry bagel with cream cheese. This place is adorable if you’re looking to spend a slow morning sipping while getting some work done. It gets awfully busy though, as it seems to be the best place in town.

Menu // Directions


Rumari was one of the most intimate dining experiences I’ve ever had. Their rooftop patio was complete with twinkly lights, rose walls, and very dim lighting. If you’re headed out for an anniversary or celebratory dinner, this would be the perfect spot. They only serve outside so make sure to dress warm!

This was a very authentic Italian experience with the freshest bread and yummy shrimp alfredo. The girls both had their red sauce and gave it a 10/10. We got their creme brule and chocolate souffle as well which were both the sweetest treats!

Menu // Directions

Things To Pack

Spring on the West Coast can be a bit tricky when you’re near the water. It was definitely a bit chiller than I expected with temperatures fluctuating quite a bit from morning to evening. As always, I will be sharing a Laguna Outfit Guide full of outfit details and links to shop everything I wore throughout my stay. In the meantime, here are a few musts for your spring packing list.

Weekly Wrap Up #12 2022

  • Light Layers: It can be really chilly in the morning/evenings here so I highly recommend bringing a few light layers. This means either a cardigan, hoodie or even a linen button-up. I found myself tossing one over almost every outfit I wore at some point during the day!
  • A Sweat Suit: Laguna has a very relaxed feel to it. There are all kinds of locals rolling out of bed to grab their morning coffee. I recommend tossing a sweat set into your suitcase so that you can have something comfy + warm for those quick errands. They are even perfect for watching the sunrise in the morning.
  • A Pair Of Jeans: Definitely pack a pair of jeans if you’re visiting in the springtime. I was able to wear shorts during the daytime but for those brisker afternoons, I found myself grateful that I’d packed a pair of long pants.
  • Flip Flops: You’re by the beach so don’t forget a good ole pair of flops! I always reach for my Rainbows.
  • Sunscreen: Don’t forget a bottle of sunscreen. Even though it was only in the low sixties throughout our trip, the UV Index still crept up to 7. That being said, I was really grateful to have had some SPF on hand.

Things To Do

As I mentioned, I wasn’t in town all that long but I still managed to pack in quite a bit. This quaint beach town gave me a lot of off-season East Coast vibes. It has a very relaxed feel with all kinds of welcoming faces + locals. I definitely plan on visiting again when I’m in California this summer as I’d love to see it all lively during beach season.

Forest Ave 

Forest Ave is the cutest strip of shops, restaurants, and local artists along Laguna. It’s one of the first areas you pass through and it’s the perfect area to spend an afternoon exploring. We popped in all kinds of stores with unique pieces. I even decided to start a new travel tradition—in addition to getting a postcard everywhere I go, I also decided to start collecting coffee table books as well!

Beachfront Picnic

A beachfront picnic with Heart of Gold Planning is the perfect daytime activity and an even better way to celebrate a special occasion with friends. Whether you have a birthday, anniversary, or proposal on the horizon this pre-planned picnic makes for the cutest photo ops.

The owner is incredibly kind and works closely with you to create the set-up of your dreams. We opted for a pink and white place setting along with the yummiest cheeseboard and some sparkling cider. While this was perfect for our party of three, you can also host larger gatherings with them as well! This was such a fun daytime activity.

Go For a Swim

Our hotel, the Laguna Beach Lodge, also has a swimming pool! Of course, you are right across from the beach, so depending on what time of year you are visiting, I highly recommend taking advantage of both and going for a swim. I do want to note that each room at the Lodge came with two beach towels and two Tommy Bahama beach chairs that you are free to bring down by the water.

Visit The Flower Stand

There are several fresh flower stands along the main strip of Laguna where you can make your own bouquets. Obviously, we had to stop by. This is such a unique photo op + talking with the sweet owners is always a treat.

Explore The Montage 

The Montage is an insanely gorgeous hotel right along the water. It’s actually right across the street from where we stayed and this property is known for its extravagant events and weddings. It is truly one of the most beautiful places. If you have the chance, I highly recommend walking through the property to indulge in their landscaping + explore the beach.

We grabbed some super cute photos and spent some time just soaking up the water. It’s definitely chilly this time of year, but warm enough to stick your toes in!

Newport Beach Mall

Newport Beach is a short drive away from Laguna and while we would have loved to get out and explore, unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating all that well. We spent a chilly afternoon popping in a few stores and shopping Victoria’s Secret PINK underwear sale, lol.

Watch The Week

Want to see my trip to Laguna + get the inside scoop on all these photos? Check out this vlog and hit the subscribe button so you don’t miss out on more travel content coming your way soon.

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As always, these travel guides have brought me the utmost joy. I am so grateful for the chance to explore new areas while capturing their beauty for you all! Traveling has truly made me fall in love with content creating in a whole new form. Keep your eyes out as I will have travel and outfit guides live for my Cabo + San Fransisco trips very soon.

With love, McKenz

Latest Post: Weekly Wrap Up #13 2022
Related Post: Los Angeles Travel Guide February 2022
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